• Minnie B. Gay Biography
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    Minnie B. Gay was born to Thomas J. and Kathrine Lawler Shanaman in St. Louis, Missouri on August 4, 1868. Mrs. Gay came to Brownsville from Jefferson, Texas in 1908. Her husband, Portes Gay, was chief of the Border Patrol at Brownsville. In 1918, Mrs. Gay acquired a 40 acre tract in Harlingen which remained intact until the railroad cut through leaving 37 acres. She died of pneumonia on July 17, 1944 in Austin and is buried in Brownwood, Texas.

    On December 21, 1948, a site was donated by Robert Everett Smith of Houston in memory of his mother Minnie B. Gay. Smith was an oil operator in Conroe and son from Mrs. Gay's first marriage to Robert Davis Smith in 1891. Smith was cited as trustee for his daughter, Bobbie Sue Smith, 1 year old at the time, for whom the tract had been given. Of the 37 acres, a deed for 6.8 acres was given to J. Lewis Boggus, president of the school board for the future Minnie B. Gay Junior High School. Brownsville attorney Robin Pate, a family friend, was credited with generating the gift. On hand were board members Arthur Purdy, F. Earl Davis, T.D. King, J.R. Fitzgerald, Guy Leggett, and W.W. Ballard business manager.
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